Monday, September 3, 2012

SM and Robinson VS. Walmart


 A recent thread in Face Book among friends in and out of the province discussed 1) if U.S giant retail store WalMart can crush Philippine mammoth retail store SM in case the former is allowed in the country; and, 2) What happens if foreign investors are allowed to own 100 percent of the power plants in the Philippines.

My comments on No.1: This could happen if we amend our onerous Filipino-foreigner equity in favor of the Pinoy businessmen in terms of  running retail business like SM (100% Pinoy ownership as based on Category A of Republic Act No. 8762 or an Act Liberalizing the Retail Trade Business )
“The presence of WalMart in the country would perk- up economy. It means more jobs to the unemployed and cheaper but quality products for the option of the consumers” I added

This scenario can be compared to the presence of SM in Dagupan and the presence of Robinson in nearby Calasiao, and the oligopolies CSI Malls and Magic Super marts in Dagupan City. With the entry of SM and Robinson, shopping and groceries sale in Dagupan would no longer be the same again as additional players ingratiate with the consumers through their wide range of goodies and competitive prices. That’s what free market capitalism is all about as espoused by Adam Smith.

Oh by the way, in a huddle with media man Ruel Camba and Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez (owner of  chains of CSI Malls in Pangasinan) of Dagupan City after the press conference where Belen was a guest recently, I told her that the entry of SM would be a breeze at the City Council after the Lim Administration chalked up in subtle coup d’état by snatching her allies, who used to reign, in the Sangguniang Panlungsod. “Madali na lang iyong conversion ng Agricultural (Fishpond) to Commercial doon sa Brgy. Tambac?” I asked her. She did not give an equivocal answer to my query. She instead snapped that she wants to deflect the perception that she is against the entry of SM. The vice mayor said the camp of Mayor Lim (owner of chain of Magic Malls in and out of Pangasinan) has been sowing rumors and false report to the public that she was against SM. “That’s what I want to correct. I was and I am for the entry of SM (in Dagupan City),” Oh, ganoon naman pala e. So dapat ipasok na ang SM dito sa Dagupan pronto. Kahit pala si Vice Mayor gusto naman pala ng SM.


 My comments on No.2: With foreign investor or investors being allowed to run a power plant with 100 percent ownership against the present 75-25% equity in favor of the Filipinos, it means more coal power plants, more hydro power dams, and more nuclear plants (my favorite). More power means, cheaper rates. With that we could exorcise our reputation as the country with the most prohibitive power rate in the world where capital loaded foreigner investors dread even to think investing here. “Tingnan niyo sir, pati Ford umalis na sa ‘Pinas,” I told former Cong. Mark Cojuangco, the pro-nuclear plant warrior, when I bumped into him in Congress after the State of the Nation Address of his cousin President Noynoy Aquino.

  I just saw on local TV a pretty spokeswoman of the National Grid Corporation, a lawyer, who told my colleagues in the media that in Mindanao power rate is cheap at P4 (if I was not wrong what I heard) per kilowatt. But investors shun the place because it could not sustain the power needed by their industries in case they venture there. "Sa Mindanao, mura ang kuryente, pero mi eight (8) hours brown out sila doon everyday". She explained in a simple way in the vernacular, which impressed my house factotum Procopio Mahina-ulo, how power plant investors prompted by market forces, want a price per kilowatt higher than the P4. That incredible P4 price there happened because it was what the popularly conscious national government wants.
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